Johannes Brahms spent over twenty years writing his first symphony. Mozart composed piano concertos for almost 25 years, and No. 27 is his final one. Kristian Bezuidenhout is the soloist, and Kristiina Poska conducts.
Piano Concerto No. 27 is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756–1791) last of its kind. It was also the last one he played in public, in the spring of 1791. Mozart was on the top of his game as a concert pianist in the early 1780s. Towards the end of the decade, he performed more rarely and wrote less for the piano, but as a composer he reached new heights. The main theme in the last movement of his final concerto became the children’s song Komm lieber Mai und mache – written during what was to be his very last spring.
Johannes Brahms’ (1833–1897) outstanding talent as a composer was already apparent when he was just twenty years old. Still, it took him a long time to realise his potential, and he was his own fiercest critic. He composed between twenty and thirty string quartets – yet only three of them were published, and the rest were destroyed. He spent over twenty years working on his first symphony, to the despair of his impatient friends, admirers and publishers.
The result, his Symphony No. 1 from 1876, evokes decisiveness and a strength of will from the very first chord. It wasn’t long before someone nicknamed it “Beethoven’s tenth” – more than fifty years after Beethoven wrote his final symphony, no one had succeeded in achieving what he had with the symphonic form. Brahms’ four symphonies were to be a unique addition to orchestra music, and the seriousness of the opening is followed both by warmth and light-heartedness.
(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)
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